Shaquille O’Neal has closely watched Bol Bol transform into the player that he is today. The Los Angeles Lakers icon has even guided the 24-year-old on several occasions and that is a reason why he will always continue to believe in him. Ever since the start of the season, Shaq has often put the Phoenix Suns center in the same conversation as Victor Wembanyama. After Bol Bol dropped double-digits against the Boston Celtics in just the first half today, Shaq decided to make his case for the 7-footer once again.

Bol Bol dropped 10 points and 3 rebounds in just 8 minutes against the Celtics, which gave the Suns hope to stay alive in the second half, as they trailed down by just 3 points. After this impressive cameo, the LA champion was on cloud nine as he shared, “As I said before. Bol Bol has always had this talent. I coached him in high school. Like I’ve been saying before, he is the first 7’5 guy to be able to do everything. I know y’all will talk about Victor Wembanyama, but Bol Bol has this ability. He is the first one to do it. I’m happy for him.” Shaq has made these claims on several occasions. However, he said it today with full confidence because of Bol Bol’s success in the first half.

Shaq has sometimes placed Bol Bol above Wembanyama. He shared in one of his previous interviews, “Bol Bol can do everything Wemby can do and even a little better… just saying he was the first seven-foot-five guy to do that with style.” Well, the Suns center has backed Shaq’s claims with his performance today. However, the case might be stronger for Shaq, if we can witness Bol Bol more on the court.

What’s stopping a Shaquille O’Neal-backed Bol Bol from averaging numbers like Victor Wembanyama? 

Apart from being ‘lazy’, as mentioned by Shaq, Bol Bol has never had a chance to showcase his potential throughout a game. All his 5 seasons in the NBA, the 7 footer has been surrounded by superstars. His first three seasons went with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Notably, he played only a total of 53 games in all 3 seasons combined, with an average of 5 minutes in the last two seasons. He got some spotlight at the Orlando Magic in his fourth year, where he averaged 9 points in 21 minutes.

Now, he is back to a team full of stars. Although he is surprisingly averaging 11 minutes with the Suns, he is yet to be given a defined role like Wembanyama. The Spurs offense runs through the 7ft rookie, but it is different for Bol Bol. Coming to defense, the hard truth is that Wembanyama is exceptionally better than Bol Bol. With Nurkic starting in the line-up, the 24-year-old does not get a lot of minutes to establish himself. Hopefully, we can view Shaq’s narrative if Bol Bol is seen more on the court.